The Titans have won ugly against some bad football teams lately, but that’s going to have to change on Sunday night. Tennessee will roll into Kansas City to face the Chiefs, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s status remains up in the air.
Tannehill missed practice on Thursday as he continues to work back from an ankle injury. He missed last week’s game in Houston against the Texans, forcing the Titans to turn to rookie Malik Willis. Due to Derrick Henry and the dominance of the offensive line, Willis wasn’t asked to do much more other than hand off to No. 22.
The Titans held on to win, 17-10. That strategy will not work against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, and Vegas knows it.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, this line is all the way out to Kansas City -12.5. I’d guess Tannehill’s status has plenty to do with that, likely a few full points.
Willis was just 6-10 passing last Sunday, throwing for 55 yards and an interception. Henry handled 32 carries, and figures to be headed for a similar workload again if Tannehill can’t go. That explains his day of rest on Thursday.
What happens when the Titans fall behind, though? What happens when Mahomes goes up 14-0? More trust is going to have to be placed in Willis, who didn’t look all that comfortable under center last week. If Tannehill is able to gut it out, this is a different story, but you get the sense that the oddsmakers don’t believe he will.
Kansas City is 5-2 this season and coming off a bye week, to make things that much tougher on the Titans. The Chiefs lost to the Colts and Bills, while beating the Cardinals, Raiders, Buccaneers, Chargers and 49ers. Despite shipping Tyreek Hill away during the offseason, Kansas City still ranks second in total offense, trailing only the Bills.
Kickoff is set for 7:20 central on Sunday night, live on NBC.